Considering the Davis High girls are coming off of a 17-5 season in which they made it to the North Coast Section lacrosse semifinals, Tuesday night’s 9-8 loss to Oak Ridge in their Sacramento Valley League debut left local fans scratching their collective heads.
“What do I take away from this game?” Blue Devil coach Jenn Morris repeated a question. “We have to fix our problems.
“We just did not shoot well … and that’s not going to win games. We need to shoot at the net.”
During a game that opened in a drizzle and finished in a steady rain at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, DHS outshot its guests, 23-15 — but it was the quality of shots that counted.
The Trojans wasted no time when Morgan Bakarich rolled through three Devils and fired point-blank on goalie Chelsey Nickell. Fifteen seconds in it was 1-0.
With Davis already missing two of its captains, defensive midfielder Bailey Gary turned her ankle two minutes in and was lost for the duration. Middie Ceci Cajandig (concussion) did not play and attacker Kylie Drexel (ankle) saw little action until the second half.
But after Bakarich’s wake-up call, Natalie Serdahl, Elizabeth Leshuk, Christina Son, Lauren Robinson and Monica LaFlore began to force Oak Ridge off the ball. The middle closed and DHS was getting good looks — albeit shooting high, wide and at Trojan netminder Madison Topping.
Finally, the Devils broke through when Kiki Tanaka found Maia Polis open for the game-tying tally at 17:20.
But Sara Cody and Bridget Hansen scored for Oak Ridge and Morris called time out, trailing 3-1.
After Morris talked with her troops, a previously pedestrian pace picked up and goals by Kelly Chuck and Sarah Bloise brought the 2012 Bay Shore Athletic League champs close at intermission, 4-3.
The rally didn’t translate to the second half …
Bakarich hit back-to-back scores coming out of the break. Then, after Drexel — who played most of the last 25 minutes after seeing sporadic field time earlier — scored at 17:53, Ariell Spring’s over-the-shoulder screamer put the Trojans back up by three at 7-4.
But with the rain falling harder, Davis seized momentum one last time …
Bloise, Drexel and Polis all scored their second goals — Polis’ knotting things up at 7-7 with 9:12 remaining.
But a wide-open middle in front of the Blue Devil net proved to be their downfall when Hansen and Kayla Galet untied the contest.
Trailing 9-7, DHS had gas in the tank.
At 3:51, Drexel snuck behind the Oak Ridge net, popped forward and wielded her magic basket. Topping had no chance and Drexel, in part-time duty, had a hat trick. The USC-bound senior scored 88 goals a year ago.
Davis kept the pressure up — five shots in the final three minutes — but, as the coach explained, the shots were off mark. Topping also contributed, making seven saves.
The Blue Devils (2-3, 0-1 in SVL) will try to right the ship with a busy rest of the week. Wednesday, it’s off to Redwood in Larkspur. On Thursday, league opponent St. Francis — which beat Granite Bay, 10-8, on Tuesday — hosts DHS. Both games are 4 p.m. starts.
Saturday, Davis hosts Novato in a nonleague outing (11 a.m.) at Brown Stadium.
Notes: The Blue Devils will play five games in eight days at the end of a stretch that began last Saturday. … Cajandig has a doctor’s appointment Wednesday and could be cleared to play. Now, the attention will turn to Gary, who training staff indicated had a simple ankle sprain. … Oak Ridge is now 3-4-1 (1-1 in SVL). … The game against Novato is part of a doubleheader with the DHS boys, who will play following the girls contest.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.